The Power Of Women In Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

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The distinct separation of power between men and women is repeatedly seen in Things Fall Apart, a fictional book by Chinua Achebe. Through this separation, it is seen that in a male-dominated society, men dislike matriarchal power in women and cause an imbalance in power; but women are just as needed as men in families and societies. Notably, it is clear, that the men in Umuofia view daughters as inferior; women are viewed as properties and they aren’t as well-praised as much as the first-born males. Additionally, women are viewed as mild and weak. In many cases, Okonkwo even uses the words “woman” or “womanly” to insult a man for being weak or of a lesser social rank. Yet Achebe include many strong, respected, and powerful female characters …show more content…

Nwoye, although he is a male, is viewed as a very feminine character. Okonkwo’s dislike of “a woman for a son” (153) pushes Nwoye to the Christian Church and Okonkwo’s actions show the imbalance of respect and the dislike of women in a patriarchy. Although he is viewed as “womanly” and weak, Nwoye gains power through the Christian Church, joining “effeminate men clucking like old hens” (153). Indeed, the white religion is viewed as womanly also; however, the Christian religion proves to be a powerful force in changing the masculine ways of the Ibo tribe. This change symbolizes the influence and powerful impact women can have on traditional and masculine thinking. Additionally, although Nwoye is Okonkwo’s first-born son, he does not carry the pride of his father because he is a womanly son. In short, Nwoye should be Okonkwo’s most important child; however, Okonkwo prefers Ikemefuna and Enzinma over Nwoye. Ikemefuna is not even Okonkwo’s son, and Enzinma is not even a boy. To continue, this symbolizes the imbalance of the value between masculine and feminine traits. Although Nwoye is a boy, he has feminine traits. This makes him less valuable than a manly first-born …show more content…

In a patriarchy, men put down the power of women; however, women are very much needed in society. Women provide the foundation of the clan through their role in the children’s lives. They raise and teach children to carry on the traditions of the clan, which is especially important in Things Fall Apart because the white men invade and attempt to change Ibo culture. Women are also equally as powerful as men through their equal responsibility in their children’s lives and their role in the performance of the society. To explain, a mother takes as much responsibility in raising their children as the father; and women and men work together to function in the village through their individual roles. This theme relates to the real world because gender inequality is a problem that has been faced throughout history. In many cultures in the past, women were in-charge of domestic work while men took the roles of public life. Be that as it may, both men and women took equally important roles; however, because of the longstanding gender bias in the world, the roles of men in society were glorified more than the roles of women. Today, gender inequality still exists in the world. Specifically, today’s women are faced with sexist comments and attitudes from men that put women down. Therefore, it is important for both men and women to realize that they both are equal, even though men are more glorified than women. With

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